Newscaster Heather Unruh
In assuming her
latest position as co-anchor of Boston WCVB television's early evening and late newscasts in March, Nantucket summer resident Heather Unruh's
career had come full circle.
The steady arc of her good fortune began in Boston at WCVB, where Unruh started her news career as an intern.
She then worked her way through Binghamton, New York, Birmingham, Alabama and Oklahoma City, where Unruh worked as a medical reporter and anchor before Boston called her back home.
pressing for Heather Unruh.
"I think from the moment I set foot here, something connected," said Heather
"I could never put my finger on it, but it felt like home."
As a student at DePauw University, Heather Unruh looked back to New England for her first big internship, which she served at Boston's Channel 5 during her senior year.
"I came in wearing my navy button-down suit.
I was so excited to have the opportunity to learn from the best," she
"I worked ten-to-twelve hour days, six days a week.
I came out on Saturdays, so I could go out with the reporters on their stories."
Through that internship, Unruh
became "hopelessly hooked on the news and on New England."
But it would take her
a while before she
could have both.
first job out of college took her
to a "teeny, teeny station in Atlanta that you could barely get on your TV," where she
did news updates in the middle of superstars of wrestling.
That job got her
a gig in Binghamton, New York for two and a half years before work took her
to Birmingham, where she
future and current husband Nick Little, who works in the construction industry.
"I definitely married the right guy," Unruh
said of the man who has supported her
through many moves.
always said, â€˜I could do my job anywhere.
But you need to go where you can find a place.'" After three years in Alabama, Unruh
moved to a larger market in Oklahoma City.
Bit by bit, she
was getting closer to her
goal of making it to a big city, in the Northeast, she
"I knew it was just going to take me time on the desk," Unruh
"I knew I was going to have to go to smaller markets to make my mistakes, cut my teeth, learn the rules and learn how to look comfortable, so people didn't think they were watching a deer in the headlights."
had spent five years in Oklahoma her
contract was near its end.
husband, just starting their family, knew they had to make a decision.
"Either stay in Oklahoma City for life or make a break and go for it," she
remembered."We both knew we wanted to come back here."
In what she thought was a long shot,Unruh wrote a letter and sent a clip reel to someone with whom she worked in Birmingham who had moved on to corporate sales for Hearst-Argyle, the company that owned Channel 5 in Boston.
"The next thing I knew, I got a call from the news director, who said, â€˜I guess you know why I'm calling,'" Unruh
"I thought I was just getting a courtesy call from them to say they'd received my materials."
But unbeknownst to Unruh
at the time, a position was about to open in the Boston office, the news director informed her
They loved her
tape and wanted to fly her
out to Boston to interview for the job.
"My heart stopped," she
"I couldn't believe what was happening was happening."
For the interview, Unruh
found herself walking into the same building where she
career in news wearing her
navy suit, and she
got the job.
"I felt like I was living a dream," she
"What I had wanted to happen and had planned for my entire career was becoming a reality.
When they offered me the job, I nearly fell off my chair.
The â€˜pinch me' factor was so huge."
It was March, 2001 when Unruh
returned to WCVB
to serve as its medical reporter and also co-anchor of the early morning EyeOpener and NewsCenter 5 at 5 p.m.
brought more than a half-dozen awards with her
, including the Clarion Award from Women in Communications and the "Grand Gracie" award from the American Women in Radio and Television for excellence in reporting.
Seven years later, Unruh
has advanced to co-anchor of WCVB
's early evening and later newscasts, but she
still wants to pinch herself every time she
walks into the building.
kids are "such little New Englanders that they would be fishes out of water anyplace else."
Station General Manager Bill Fine, who promoted Unruh to her current position,described her communication style as "straightforward."
and Nick's two children now get to appreciate Nantucket every time they visit "Nonnie and Bumpy."
It's the same nostalgic things I loved that they love," Unruh
Though Unruh's main home is Boston, there's still a part of her
that feels more at home on Nantucket.
"I've always said, when my husband, the kids and I leave to come down, that as we go over the Bourne Bridge, one heavy weight comes off one shoulder.
And then when we get on the ferry, the other weight comes off," she
Newscaster Heather Unruh
Wild and woolly Old Head